I am glad that I decided to be open about this journey for so many reasons. My intention was simply to put my story out there so that it might help others to understand the process. I hoped that chronicling my experience might help people to feel less alone as they went through what, for many, is a quiet (if not secret) endeavor.
I figured that I am quite open to begin with, so writing about my experience would not be much of a hardship. It might put me just outside of my comfort zone, which has historically been a good space for me. It is the origin of all change and growth– where everything worthwhile in this world begins and blossoms.
I did not anticipate everything I would gain from the experience.
After posting my first entry, I received a lot of unexpected feedback– most of it overwhelmingly positive. Beyond the public comments on social media, I received private messages of encouragement, with at least a dozen people telling me that they were in various stages of the process, too. I found that there were people I knew who were curious about the procedure, just starting out, or just a few months away from surgery. I found that a number of others had recently had the gastric sleeve. Several people had bariatric surgery before I knew them, and I never even knew that they had ever had a weight problem.
One of my friends added me to a support group specifically for people who have elected to have the vertical sleeve gastrectomy. That group has been a welcomed addition to my life as I near my surgery date (just 5 days away now). It has been wonderful to see a group of strangers supporting one another as they reveal their personal struggles, hopes, dreams, triumphs and transformations. If I felt alone before, I know now that I am not.
And neither are you. If you are considering having this procedure, please feel free to reach out and I will do my best to help you, or add you to the group.
I have always been fiercely independent. I know that I can do a lot of things alone, but I’m beginning to find comfort in the knowledge that I don’t have to.